I managed to watch Episode 1 of Alice no Toge on the weekend, which is a new TBS drama featuring Juri Ueno in the lead role as a doctor named ‘Asumi Mizuno’. Alice no Toge would probably fall into two categories: suspense and medical, and from what I saw in Episode 1 both themes are given equal spotlight. That being said the drama does have somewhat of a dark side, but I think that is what the producers were going for and they were very successful in doing so. If you want to know a little more about Alice no Toge hit the jump and keep reading on.
Asumi is a doctor that has just started working at a university hospital. But she isn’t just any normal doctor, she’s a doctor fuelled almost entirely by revenge. She lost her father when she was still quite young and his death was a result of an operation that was botched by doctors at the same university hospital that she has just become part of. The ironic thing behind all of this is Asumi’s father was actually a doctor before he died. After his death Asumi was adopted into another family and spent years not being able to come to terms her father’s death, gathering information about the other doctors of the hospital.
Your probably thinking that she could have got revenge on all these other doctors without actually entering the hospital as a doctor herself, right? Well you’re correct, she probably could have done that but I think a large part of Alice no Toge is Asumi’s quest to try and ‘judge’ the other doctors before she makes a decision about whether or not take revenge on them. In the first episode she almost kills the Chief Nurse of the hospital after she finds out that he has been encouraging sloppy work on patients charts, this is particularly relevant to her because after her father died during the operation he pushed her away telling her he’d show her the more specific details of the chart later. She seems to use Alice in Wonderland as a reference for how she is going to take her revenge, she makes cards with a character from the story that is similar to her target and sends it to them before-hand. Anyway, she doesn’t end up killing the Chief Nurse and instead blackmails him into doing dirty work for her.
The second member of the hospital she takes revenge on is a successful, status-hungry female doctor in the hospital who is trying to convince a patient to agree to a ridiculous 10 hour operation to fix problems with her throat using new micro-camera technology. This doctor was also part of Asumi’s father’s operation and judging from the charts is the one that actually killed him. During another operation she overhears this doctor saying that “a doctor isn’t a doctor until they kill at least 3 people”. This, coupled with the fact the doctor creates fake patient records(more specificially switches data) to make the patient agree to the 10 hour risky operation, gives Asumi enough evidence to decide to take revenge on her. The revenge is enough to make her quit working at the hospital and just basically disappear.
To be honest, with the exception of Code Blue, I’ve never really been a huge fan of medical dramas. I’m more interested in detective or school dramas but I actually quite liked Alice no Toge and this was mostly due to the revenge and suspense aspect of it. If this were just a plain medical drama I probably wouldn’t have been as captivated by it. The last thing I saw Juri Ueno in was Nodame Cantibile so seeing her in this new role really made me believe that she is a good actor because this role is so much darker than the other. Anyway to conclude Alice no Toge is definitely worth watching, whether or not subtitles will come out for it might be a different story though.